LWV urges ‘neutrality’ on access to Web sites
by Wynne Parry
Stamford Advocate (CT)
The state League of Women Voters reached out to its members last night in a discussion at the Harry Bennett Branch of the Ferguson Library, asking them to consider supporting the position that Internet service providers not interfere with users’ ability to access Web sites. The issue, known as “Net neutrality,” was one of three the league put before members of its newly revived Stamford chapter. If approved, the league will formally adopt these positions.
“Internet service providers should not serve as gatekeepers,” said Cheryl Dunson, advocacy director of the state league. “If you get online, you should have access to the full and entire scope of the Internet.” In other words, the Christian Coalition Web site should load as fast as Planned Parenthood…
League representatives also asked members to endorse the position that government should encourage efficient and affordable high-speed Internet access, including free access at libraries and other public buildings…
The league is also considering a position that community access television must be protected. New legislation allowing phone companies to compete with cable companies to provide cable service may affect community access channels, according to Carole Young-Kleinfeld, the state league’s vice president of communications. —>
County Board meetings to be shown on cable TV
by Jorge Sosa
Hutchinson Leader (MN)
Hutchinson Community Video Network will soon add a new reality show to its lineup — the McLeod County Board meetings. County Commissioner Sheldon Nies said the County Board supports telecasting of their meetings, with HCVN’s help, beginning Feb. 19. The local cable channel already airs Hutchinson City Council meetings, but HCVN Board Member Barry Anderson said the channel received many requests to see the County Board in action. —>
Mayors meet with Bredesen, lawmakers
State of economy discussed during courtesy visit
by Bonna Johnson
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, along with the mayors of Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga, made a courtesy call to Gov. Phil Bredesen and legislative leaders Monday. “We went in to talk about the interest of the cities and to see if there is anything we can do to help the governor and basically talked about the state of the economy,” Dean said.
Dean said he did not talk to the governor about any issues specific to Nashville. But outside the governor’s office, Dean did talk with reporters about his position on a few state issues….He is staying neutral in the battle between AT&T and Comcast on cable franchising. “We’ll see what happens before we take a position,” he said. Without taking sides though, he said, he is “generally pro competition.” —>
There’s Nothing Mainstream About the Corporate Media
by Harvey Wasserman
As we stumble toward another presidential election, it’s never been more clear that our political process is being warped by a corporate stranglehold on the free flow of information. Amidst a virtual blackout of coverage of a horrific war, a global ecological crisis and an advancing economic collapse, what passes for the mass media is itself in collapse. What’s left of our democracy teeters on the brink.
The culprit, in the parlance of the day, has been the “Mainstream Media,” or MSM. But that’s [the] wrong name for it. Today’s mass media is Corporate, not Mainstream, and the distinction is critical. Calling the Corporate Media (CM) “mainstream” implies that it speaks for mid-road opinion, and it absolutely does not.
There is, in fact, a discernable, tangible mainstream of opinion in this country. As brilliant analysts such as Jeff Cohen, Norman Solomon and the Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) organization have shown, the “MSM” is very far to the right of it. —>
Flashback to 2002: Is U.S. Big Media Still Brainwashing Us?
Pepperspray Productions’ “Indymedia Presents”
In the last few years many Americans have come to believe that the war in Iraq is wrong. Fewer it would seem, have the same opinion about the war against Afganistan. You decide. Let’s go back with US Representative Jim McDermott. —>
Nonprofit journalism on the rise
At a time of layoffs and budget cuts at traditional newspapers, foundations and donors are funding new journalism ventures.
by Randy Dotinga
Christian Science Monitor
San Diego – The police chief’s rosy crime statistics were a lie, it turned out. The councilman who urged water conservation was discovered to use 80,000 gallons a month at his home, more than five of his colleagues put together. And the school board president, according to an investigation, spent a full third of his time out of town and out of touch.
The Voice of San Diego, a nonprofit online media outlet, doesn’t have enough journalists to field a softball team. Yet it has managed to take on the powerful with the panache of a scrappy big-city paper. It provides “the best coverage of city politics that we’ve had in years,” raves Dean Nelson, a journalism professor at San Diego’s Point Loma Nazarene University.
The success of the tightly focused Voice, which relies on donors, offers a ray of hope for a troubled industry. Plagued by shrinking circulations and advertising, newspapers are shedding staff and downsizing their offerings. Even the pages have gotten smaller. By contrast, several nonprofit newspapers – though rare and often tiny – have sprung up in recent years both online and in print, funded largely by foundations and individual donors. The strategy of nonprofits like the Voice “may be one of the ways to preserve the integrity of journalism,” says Mr. Nelson. —>
When A Bunch of People Become Community
by Jim Benson
No matter how far removed my daily life gets from Urban Planning (I was a real-life urban planner for about 20 years), it still amazes me how I’m still right in the middle of it. Today on Twitter, Shel Israel sent out a note about a great post by Laura Fitton called “Twitter is my Village.” Her posts cover the basic aspects of community. Transportation, Culture, Commerce, and Continuity. —>
ITP in Wikipedia
by Jon Swerdloff
Swerdloff Version 5.0
I have had a lot of people ask me – “Swerdloff” they say, because that’s what people call me, “Swerdloff, what the hell are you doing?” And I say “I’m at ITP!” and they say “um OMG WTF ITP?” or they say “What’s that” depending on whether it’s an IM or an in-person thing. Invariably, I point them to the ITP website and then describe a project or two or three if they still don’t get it. Maybe a fourth if they ask “what do you plan to do with this degree, exactly?”
I try metaphor – “It’s art for technologists” “technology for artists” “We’re building the future” “Second wave technologies built on things we tear up” “Hogwarts for hackers” or as Clay described it to me yesterday, “the center for the recently possible” which I like.
It’s very difficult going to a not-product-based incubator, a space that’s not art school but aims at artists, that’s not engineering but aims at engineers, and that’s not really definable. Particularly when you are studying identity! Also when your friends are lawyers, writers, bankers, bloggers, and other -ers that are easily defined.
I’ve copied and pasted the Wikipedia entry on ITP, strangely listed within the Tisch School page. I say strangely because despite having space there and sharing elevators (hello ladies of the drama department…) we really don’t interact with them much. Doubly ironic, since we’re the Interactive telecommunications program, and we don’t interact. Get it? Not in the 10,000 spoons way… ok shut up. So, I reproduce this here for your pleasure. With luck, it’ll start to give you a sense of what I’m doing. And as you can see, after many years away – I’m back.
Tisch School of the Arts – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “The Interactive Telecommunications Program is a pioneering graduate department focused on the study and design of new media, computational media and embedded computing under the umbrella of interactivity.
“Founded in 1979, the origins of the program date back to 1971 when George Stoney and Red Burns created the Alternate Media Center (AMC). ITP grew out of the work of the AMC, and set the stage for the experimentation which would follow as well as the informing spirit of collaboration, and the ongoing emphasis on crafting social applications and putting the needs of the user first. A pioneering center for application development and field trials, the AMC initially focused on exploring the then-new tool of portable video made possible by Sony’s introduction of the Portapak video camera.” —>
Better Than Free
by Kevin Kelley
The internet is a copy machine. At its most foundational level, it copies every action, every character, every thought we make while we ride upon it. In order to send a message from one corner of the internet to another, the protocols of communication demand that the whole message be copied along the way several times. IT companies make a lot of money selling equipment that facilitates this ceaseless copying. Every bit of data ever produced on any computer is copied somewhere. The digital economy is thus run on a river of copies. Unlike the mass-produced reproductions of the machine age, these copies are not just cheap, they are free.
Our digital communication network has been engineered so that copies flow with as little friction as possible. Indeed, copies flow so freely we could think of the internet as a super-distribution system, where once a copy is introduced it will continue to flow through the network forever, much like electricity in a superconductive wire. We see evidence of this in real life. Once anything that can be copied is brought into contact with internet, it will be copied, and those copies never leave. Even a dog knows you can’t erase something once it’s flowed on the internet.
This super-distribution system has become the foundation of our economy and wealth. The instant reduplication of data, ideas, and media underpins all the major economic sectors in our economy, particularly those involved with exports — that is, those industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Our wealth sits upon a very large device that copies promiscuously and constantly.
Yet the previous round of wealth in this economy was built on selling precious copies, so the free flow of free copies tends to undermine the established order. If reproductions of our best efforts are free, how can we keep going? To put it simply, how does one make money selling free copies?
I have an answer. The simplest way I can put it is thus:
When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
When copies are super abundant, stuff which can’t be copied becomes scarce and valuable.
When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.
Well, what can’t be copied?
There are a number of qualities that can’t be copied. Consider “trust.” Trust cannot be copied. You can’t purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long). If everything else is equal, you’ll always prefer to deal with someone you can trust. So trust is an intangible that has increasing value in a copy saturated world.
There are a number of other qualities similar to trust that are difficult to copy, and thus become valuable in this network economy. I think the best way to examine them is not from the eye of the producer, manufacturer, or creator, but from the eye of the user. We can start with a simple user question: why would we ever pay for anything that we could get for free? When anyone buys a version of something they could get for free, what are they purchasing?
From my study of the network economy I see roughly eight categories of intangible value that we buy when we pay for something that could be free. —>